- Family and Parenting
Cord Blood Banking, Fish Oil Supplements and Other Things Potential Parents Should Discuss
Having a baby is one of the most joyous and potentially most stressful moments in life. Whether it is the first time or the eleventh, a new baby changes the dynamic of a home. There are several things that can be done while waiting for the new little guy or gal to arrive. Most sites will expound on the simple things like setting up the nursery, stocking up on staple foods, doing a thorough cleaning, and various other things that become harder to do when caring for a baby 24/7. There are other things most parents don’t think about but definitely should including cord blood banking, taking fish oil supplements and starting an investment account for the baby.
Pregnant Women Should Take Fish Oil Supplements
Pregnant women should consider taking a good fish oil pill that contains the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. A study quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald said, “Toddlers born to women who consume fish oil during pregnancy know more words and longer phrases than other children, a study has found. New Australian research also found that these children have better hand-to-eye coordination than their peers.”
Although the supplements may come with some unsettling and annoying fishy burps, taking them may be safer than eating some ocean-caught fish, which may contain high levels of mercury which could be detrimental to the baby. Taking a good fish oil supplement that contains the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA should be discussed early on as it is never too early to start them.
Bottle or Breast Feeding
This debate didn’t even exist until around the 1920s, when evaporated milk formulas were put on the market. Infant formulas like Similac and Sobee came on the market at the same time but didn’t gain popularity until the 1950s. Although these are adequate substitutes for breast milk, they are not chemically the same. According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), “Breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition for infants. It contains the correct amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein a baby needs for proper growth and development.” (Giving Babies a Healthy Head Start, Navy.mil)
There have been a number of studies that suggest that breastfed children have an enhanced brain development (Ounsted M, Moar V, Cockburn J, Redman C. 1984, Taylor B, Wadsworth J. 1984). A study following children from infancy to adolescence found that the average IQ of children who were breast-fed scored higher than formula-fed children (Anderson JW et al, 1999). Another classic study determined that the longer a child is breast-fed, the greater the enhancement of his or her cognitive ability (Hoefer C, Hardy MC).
Breastfeeding is often associated with the mother/child bonding experience as well. Some mothers who wish for the fathers to have this same type of experience will use breast pumps to bottle breast milk so the father may feed the child as well.
Start an Investment Account for Baby
This one is simple but is almost never done. Starting an investment account for a child gives them a strong financial start to life. The power of compounding interest is quite amazing, as Michael Gabay of Merrill Lynch attests to in his interview with Sexbuzz magazine. "It's important for the couple to start this process early because you have more time to build up the investment returns for that child's account." (“Securing Your Baby's Future”) "If you get a ten percent return you double your money every 7.2 years, so if you do the math, you start early you're better off." The difference of starting a $10,000 investment based on those figures at birth is 29, or $512,000, or at 21 years old, 26, or $64,000 at age 65. This $448,000 is if there is no additional money put into the investment after its inception.
It is important to start taking care of a baby long before it is out of the womb. A good health and financial plan will give a child a head start in life. This competitive edge, along with a bit of good parental guidance could well make a huge difference in the child’s future quality of life.
Talk About Banking the Baby's Cord Blood
Cord blood banking is a relatively new option for parents – so new in fact that many of them don’t even know it is an option. Why talk about banking cord blood? According to the Cord Blood Registry, “Your baby's cord blood stem cells, which are a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), may be used by your family in transplant medicine to treat nearly 80 serious diseases including leukemia, lymphoma, other cancers, and blood disorders.” ("Why Bank Your Newborn’s Stem Cells")
Not only that, but emerging science suggests that there are several future cures that may be available if cord blood is banked. The Cord Blood Registry suggests “an emerging field of medicine called regenerative medicine is showing significant potential to treat conditions that have no cure today. Clinical trials and research are currently underway using cord blood for treatments directed at cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and juvenile diabetes.”
Cordblood.com “Cord Blood Registry-Why Bank Your Newborn’s Stem Cells” (Accessed July 2010)
Grant, Gregory. “Securing Your Baby’s Future” sexbuzz.com (Accessed July 2010)
Hoefer C, Hardy MC. “Later development of breast fed and artificially fed infants.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 1929 Volume: 92 Pages: 615-20.
McCarrol, Sybil. “Giving Babies a Healthy Head Start”, National Naval Medical Center Public Affairs, Navy.mil. August 15, 2003. (Accessed July 2010)
Ounsted M, Moar V, Cockburn J, Redman C. “Factors associated with intellectual ability of children born to women with high risk pregnancies”. British Journal of Medicine, 1984 Volume 288 Pages: 1038-41.
Taylor B, Wadsworth J. “Breast feeding and child development at five years.” Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 1984 Volume 26 Pages: 73-80.
Anderson JW et al (1999) "Breastfeeding and cognitive development: a meta-analysis" American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Volume: 70 Pages: 525-35.
The Sydney morning Herald, “Fish oil gives babies head start: study”, smh.com.au December 21, 2006 (Accessed July 2010)